RECORD: Darwin, C. R. et al. [1848]. [Memorial to Lord John Russell on university reform]. np: np.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, transcribed and edited by John van Wyhe 7.2010. RN1


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To the RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD JOHN RUSSELL, M.P., First Lord of the Treasury, &c. &c.1

The MEMORIAL OF THE UNDERSIGNED GRADUATES AND FORMER MEMBERS of the universities of OXFORD and CAMBRIDGE with some of the FELLOWS of the ROYAL SOCIETY.

SHEWETH,

That the present system of the ancient English Universities has not advanced, and is not calculated to advance the interests of religious and useful learning to an extent commensurate with the great resources and high position of those bodies.

That the constitution of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and of the Colleges (now inseparably connected with their academical system) is such as in a great measure to preclude them from introducing those changes which are necessary for increasing their usefulness and efficacy.

That under these circumstances, believing that the aid of the Crown is the only available remedy for the above-mentioned defects, your Memorialists pray that your Lordship will advise Her Majesty to issue Her Royal Commission of Inquiry into the best methods of securing the improvement of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

[...]

CHARLES DARWIN, M.A., Christ's College, Cambridge.

[...]

1 Cambridge Pamphlets, Folio Series, vol. 4: Cambridge University Library, Cam.a.500.5/124. The date is written in ink on the document. This item is reprinted in Correspondence vol. 18, pp. 348-9. The editors of the Correspondence note: "Concern over the state of education in the natural sciences at Oxford and Cambridge led to reforms in both universities; in 1848 Cambridge instituted a tripos examination in the natural sciences, and in 1850 Oxford created a School of Natural Science".

The other 223 signatories are omitted from this transcription but can be seen in the image view.

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